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P email@example.com +263-(0) 4 776607/788257/8 Zimbabwe Press Summary US$4m demonetisation funds claimed (NewsDay, Friday July 31, Pg 13) A fifth of the US$20m demonetisation fund has been utilised through the banking channels, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya has said. RBZ began the demonetisation process last month to retire the Zimbabwean dollar and buttress the multicurrency regime. The decommissioning exercise of the local unit will end on September 30.
“A total of US$7m was given to banks and US$4m has been taken by customers. The banks still have almost US$3m,” Mangudya said. He said he could not quantify the figures given to people in the rural areas adding that walk-in customers had taken US$375 000 so far.
CZI calls for reform of indigenisation policy (NewsDay, Friday July 31, Pg 13) The local business community is willing to work with government to reform the indigenisation policy to create conducive environment for investors to enhance economic development, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has said.
CZI president Busisa Moyo said business was prepared to provide government with indigenisation models that are favourable to the private sector. “As business we understand that the indigenisation policy is here to stay, but it is the form and format of that piece of legislation that we must work on,” Moyo said in his opening remarks at the ongoing CZI annual congress in Gweru. “We are looking at that piece of legislation to give you indigenisation models.” The conference opened on Wednesday and ends today.
Economy expected to grow 1.5% (Herald, Friday July 31, Pg B1) Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has trimmed forecast for economic growth for this year, taking into account poor performance of agriculture.He also said price declines will continue prevailing, with average annual inflation for 2015 now projected at minus 2% against the original projection of minus 1%. Presenting the 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement yesterday, the finance minister said the country’s economy is now expected to expand 1.5% this year, 1.7 percentage points below what he initially projected in December last year.
Bans, duty hike on used imports (Herald, Friday July 31, Pg 1) Government has banned the importation of second-hand clothes and shoes with effect from September 1 this year, as part of economy-wide measures to facilitate recovery of local industry. The products have been removed from the general import licence, with future importations now subject to seizure and destruction. Presenting the 2015 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review Statement, that came two years to the 2013 harmonised elections that ushered in the incumbent Government, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the move was meant to reduce competition between imports and local products, a factor that has adversely affected local industry.
Retired Colonel Joseph Mhakayakora, told the Parliamentary committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry on Monday that the rates hike had been implemented. He said some tourism operators in the resort town would now pay as much as $9 000 a month in rates. Mzembi said very few tourism players would be able to keep their businesses afloat after paying such high rates.
‘Take advantage of trade accords’ (Herald, Friday July 31, Pg B1) Lack of knowledge on preferential trade agreements is suppressing Zimbabwe’s export potential to the region and beyond. ZimTrade head of delegation to the Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show Allan Majuru said companies could grow the country’s exports which stood at US$1.23 billion at half year if they utilise the various trade agreements within the region and other economic groups. “We are encouraging Zimbabwean exporters to take advantage of duty, quota free access under COMESA, SADC and interim Economic Partnership Agreement.
Second-hand clothes banned (NewsDay, Friday July 31, Pg 1) Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday announced several austerity measures, effective tomorrow, meant to resuscitate the economy that include new levies and taxes on churches, imported groceries, fertiliser, and a ban on importation of second-hand clothes. Presenting his mid-term policy statement reviewing the 2015 National Budget in Parliament, Chinamasa also proposed plans to reduce government’s wage bill by 40% as Treasury struggles to pay civil servants owing to a reduced revenue base and uncontrolled expenditure. The minister reviewed downwards the projected economic growth rate from 3.2% to 1.5%, a move he attributed to poor rainfall and poor performance of the manufacturing sector.
Reserve Bank gets foreign experts on bank supervision (businessdigest, Friday July 31, Pg 1) The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is roping in regional and international central bank authorities to assist Zimbabwe in bank supervision as part of cocktail of measures to end problems bedevilling the banking sector, RBZ deputy Governor Charity Dhliwayo has said. She added the central bank, through the consolidated supervisory framework, signed a memorandum of understanding with regional and international central bank authorities linked to the banking institutions in Zimbabwe to share experiences and insight on the performance of the Zimbabwean banks’ affiliates.
Legislate severance packages – employers (businessdigest, Friday July 31, Pg 1) Employers have called for a fixed retrenchment package to be legislated into the amended Labour Act to enable them to make plans when they want to lay off workers amid controversial redundancies due to a recent Supreme Court ruling. At an Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe stakeholders’ consultative meeting on Wednesday in Harare, employers called for a fixed retrenchment package for employees of one week’s payment for every year served. This they resolved, would avoid time consuming negotiations and enable employers to plan adequately when downsizing staff.
individual financial institution’s credit worthiness. President of the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran Seyed Kamal Seyed Ali said on Tuesday this week that his institution was willing to channel loans to local credit worthy banks at affordable interest rates.
Innscor free from CTC penalties (Herald, Friday July 31, Pg B2) Innscor Africa Limited has been absolved from paying US$2.5m in penalties imposed by the Competition and Tariff Commission over the food group’s merger with the agro-processor, National Foods Limited. The legal fight came about after the CTC imposed a penalty on Innscor after it noted that the group had acquired shares in Natfoods which made it a 49.9% shareholder in that company. That shareholding was later reduced to 37.82%. The CTC’s investigations in the operations of Innscor culminated in it issuing an order that the group was in breach of the merger notification provisions of the Competition Act, Chapter 14:28, by not notifying the CTC within 30 days of its acquisition of controlling interesting in Natfoods. It argued that the notification was made seven years later.
Zisco, Essar deal still on — Bimha Government and Essar Africa Holdings are still committed to the revival of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) and a board of directors is being put in place to steer the ship, Industry minister Mike Bimha has said. Bimha said his ministry was engaging Essar to map the best way forward for the resuscitation of the company. Government and Essar struck a US$750m deal in 2011 with the investor agreeing to take over Ziscosteel’s foreign debt, which amounted to US$300m, and to share the domestic debt with government, which totalled US$72m at the time.
ZMF aims to produce 10 tonnes of gold by year-end (NewsDay, Friday July 31, Pg 15) The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) is targeting to produce 10 tonnes of gold by year-end after government managed to curtail gold leakages through setting up teams to monitor output custom milling plants, an official has said.
Early this year, government set up teams to monitor production on a monthly basis at the over 200 licensed custom milling plants in the country to ensure that gold is delivered to the country’s sole buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
The teams are made up of officials from the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Mines and the police.
Atlas Mara completes Brainworks exit deal (NewsDay, Friday July 31, Pg 15) Atlas Mara has completed the sale of its 10.1% stake in Zimbabwe-focused private equity and advisory firm, Brainworks Capital Management, in a transaction worth US$8.72m. In June, the Bob Diamond co-founded Atlas Mara said the disposal of its Brainworks stake was consistent with its focus on sub-Saharan Africa banking operations and strategy of selling non-core investments acquired in connection with its acquisition of ADC African Development Corporation AG. In a notice yesterday, Atlas Mara said: “In connection with the transaction, Atlas Mara, by way of an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary, repurchased 664k Atlas Mara ordinary shares and received approximately US$3.1m in cash.”.
as the State-owned company early this year put out advertisements for 24 key posts including one for a chief finance officer, chief technical officer earmarked to drive NetOne’s expansion programme. The applications were being handled by the Memory Nguwi-headed Industrial Psychology Consultants.
Cottco makes US$30 million loss (Daily News, Friday July 31, Pg 10) Cottco Holdings Limited has registered a US$30.2m loss in the full year to March 31, 2015 from a profit of US$14.9m recorded in the same period last year. The company’s executive chairman, Douglas Ncube, said the loss included impairments of US$11.2m in respect of trade and other receivables, inventory and inputs receivables. The group also recorded a 9% decrease in revenue from US$42m to US$38.3m for the period under review. Finance costs, however, decreased 40% to US$8m on pre-finance contracts, liquidation of idle assets and reduced costs.